Ekbote named, not chargesheeted in case of desecration in 2017: ACP Galande
Assistant commissioner of police Ramesh Galande deposed before the Bhima-Koregaon Inquiry Commission on Thursday.
PUNE: Assistant commissioner of police Ramesh Galande, 57 – who was in charge of the Shikrapur police station in 2018 when the Bhima-Koregaon riots took place – deposed before the Bhima-Koregaon Inquiry Commission on Thursday.
During his deposition, it was established that the tension in the Vadhu Budrukh region began after installing a board mentioning Govind Gopal Gaikwad (Mahar) while the name of Milind Ekbote of the Samasta Hindu Aghadi was dropped from the FIR as he was found to have no connection with vandalising the board.
ACP Galande – who was the senior police inspector at Shikrapur police station between June 26, 2016 and April 28, 2018 –said that there was no discord among the villages in his jurisdiction when he took over. The tension in the region erupted only after the board of Govind Gopal Gaikwad (Mahar) was installed at the resting place of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj on December 29, 2017. The board was found vandalised late that day, and a law and order situation broke out in the area.
During cross-questioning of ACP Galande by advocate Kiran Channe representing Ravindra Chandane and Amol Wankhede, the former said, “At the time I took charge of the police station, I visited the village of Vadhu Budrukh and found that it had the samadhi of Govind Gopal Gaikwad (Mahar) in Maharwada behind the gram panchayat, Vadhu Budrukh, near the samadhi sthal of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. I did not come across any dispute or issue over the samadhi of Govind Gopal Gaikwad (Mahar) and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. To my knowledge, the controversy erupted due to displaying the board at the samadhi of Govind Gopal Gaikwad (Mahar).”
Prior to advocate Channe, advocate Barun Kumar representing Kabir Kala Manch member Harshali Podar, had asked ACP Galande about the FIR against Ekbote. “We have registered offences against Milind Ekbote as an accused in the case. The name of Milind Ekbote does not find place in col 7 of the FIR. I am not the investigating officer in the case, however as per information, upon investigation, the involvement of Milind Ekbote was not found and therefore his name was not included in the charge sheet,” ACP Galande had said in response to advocate Barun Kumar’s questions.
For the desecration of the board, a case under sections 143, 147, 149, 427, 504, 506, 109, 295 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and section 6 of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and section 3 (1)(r)(s)(t)(u)(v), 3 (2)(va) of the Amended Act 2015 was registered as per instructions of the then superintendent of Pune rural police Suvez Haque.